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Morning Report: Chael Sonnen says Vince McMahon offered him $5 million to leave UFC for WWE

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Believing any discussions of a comeback between UFC president Dana White and former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar would be little more than a shrewd negotiating tactic, former contender Chael Sonnen drew a similar parallel this week on his podcast, 'You're Welcome.'

Discussing the matter with WWE writer John Piermarini, Sonnen revealed he was once offered a multi-million dollar contract to jump ship from the UFC to professional wrestling.

"Here's the nuts and bolts of it: I was offered $5 million by [WWE promoter] Vince McMahon," Sonnen stated. "Now, I was still under contract with the UFC and I never took this to Dana. I handled it on my own. I told [WWE], 'No' and that was the end of that. I never told Dana White this story, but here's why I didn't tell him. I knew if I called Dana and said, 'I've got a $5 million offer from Vince McMahon,' Dana would have matched it."

Sonnen's tenure in the UFC ended abruptly in June when he announced his retirement from MMA after testing positive for two banned substances, Anastrozole and Clomiphene.

Sonnen subsequently failed a second random drug test taken on Jun. 5, testing positive for human growth hormone (HGH), recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) and terminated from his role as an analyst at FOX Sports. In July he was handed a two-year suspension from competing in MMA by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

"Dana would have come close and now all of a sudden I'm not a loyal employee," said Sonnen. "I'm not loyal to the UFC. I'm shopping them and I'm being loyal to myself. That's business. That's how that works and I don't think anyone would have had hard feelings but I didn't see myself that way."

Opening up a bit more about White's negotiating tactics, Sonnen says the UFC boss isn't nearly as hard-lined as you would think.

"That something really interesting about Dana," said Sonnen. "If you want to play 'cutthroat business,' he will play, but if you want to relax and just let him take care of things you're going to be a lot better off.

"If you go in there and try to negotiate, he'll negotiate and he'll do it like a regular business deal. If you play hard ball a lot of times you'll win. A lot of times you will win. Dana likes to say, 'Yes.' However, if a show does exceptionally well you will be bound to what you went in there and fought him for."

Given the UFC's status in the landscape of mixed martial arts promotions, Sonnen believe's the company acts much more fairly than maybe the market would allow.

"The UFC, on a regular basis, negotiates against themselves," said Sonnen. "Dana White will sit down at the negotiating table and he's negotiating against himself, against the old contract he's already got with a guy. There's no nobody else coming in and bidding on him and he's still giving guys raises."

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Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via MMAtylander

Remembering "The Question" and how Blockbuster Showed Me "The Answer."

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